Korea is home to the world-first introductions of Code Division Multiple Access (COMA) and subsequent third generation (3 G) mobile technologies. In addition to increased contributions to global ICT standards, Korean players gained prominence recently by proposing standards for homegrown systems. This paper takes stock of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) policy design, implementations of projects and standards-settings during the Korean catch-up in ICT sectors and attempts at highlighting their commonalities during three different phases: Implementation, Participation, and Definition of standards. The co-evolution of two types of policies and implementations - 'generic' and 'targeted.' - affect the rate, direction and processes of catch-up. The patterns of raising standards-setting capabilities are generally in line with traditional technological catch-up. However, the evidence implies latecomers must address a few issues related to standards in order to sustain their rates of learning and continued growth in the ICT industry, namely: 1) Clarity of focus on over-arching industry and standards policy and their timely integration, 2) managing the balance between targeted and generic projects to gain both technological and non-technological capabilities for standards-settings, especially implementation, and finally 3) embedding necessary institutional flexibility within a national system catering to multiple standards-setting strategies and processes. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.